Italian Open: Novak Djokovic makes light work of Alexandr Dolgopolov in Rome first round
Novak Djokovic made light work of Alexandr Dolgopolov with a swift 6-1 6-3 victory in the first round of the Italian Open.
The Serbian – who has reached eight of the last 10 finals in Rome, winning four – needed just 56 minutes to see off the world No 54.
Djokovic dropped to 18th in the rankings as of Monday morning, but brushed off that slide down with an assured display in the Italian capital.
"Today's match encourages me to move forward and hopefully I can get a few more matches in Rome than I have in the last couple months," said Djokovic.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion broke Dolgopolov three times in the opening set, while a further break in the second helped him wrap up the match.
Djokovic has a real chance at a run in Rome, with Nikoloz Basilashvili or Filippo Baldi up next in the second round, though John Isner could prove a stern test as a potential third-round opponent.
Elsewhere, one of the top picks of the first round turned into a one-sided affair as Italian Fabio Fognini raced past Gael Monfils 6-3 6-1.
David Goffin breezed past Leonardo Mayer 6-1 6-2, while Kei Nishikori impressed with a 7-6(5) 6-4 win over Feliciano Lopez.